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Zadara 2020 Predictions: Five Trends in Enterprise Storage

VMblog Predictions 2020 

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2020.  Read them in this 12th annual series exclusive.

By Jeff Francis, Sr. Enterprise Solutions Architect, Zadara

Five Trends in Enterprise Storage

Looking ahead to 2020 we see an IT landscape that looks increasingly ‘hybrid' - by which we mean ‘a diverse operating environment that is comprised of a mix of locations, workloads, applications, and storage demands.' The complexity inherent in hybrid IT is driving significant shifts in the approach that many IT teams are taking to procuring and managing their technology. Of course as a services company we are always looking ahead - to anticipate our customers' needs and deliver the data storage and management functionality they need when and where they need it. Based on what we've learned managing thousands of virtual private storage arrays for customers around the world and in a variety of industries, we offer the following predictions. We hope they help you make better-informed decisions. 

1.       XaaS (everything-as-a-service) will accelerate, taking market share from ownership models.  Many 3-5 year IT refresh cycles are coming due at a time when multiple options for mature/stable XaaS options exist, plus the rate of technology change is accelerating. It will make less and less sense - both financially and technologically - to commit to a rigid platform for a span of multiple years.

2.       BaaS and DRaaS (Backup and DR-as-a-service) will grow in adoption, as more customers start to implement their first offsite and truly on-demand Backup and DR capabilities. BaaS and DRaaS bring reliability, convenience and affordability in an on-demand fashion. The combination of backup suite subscriptions and storage-as-a-service makes it possible for enterprises to meet their business continuity and compliance needs in a rapid, reliable and hassle-free fashion.  Additionally, the economics for DR are radically improved, as costs for compute and additional storage only apply for days of "test" and "actual DR" vs. buying and managing that infrastructure all year.

3.       Auto-tiering of infrequently accessed data to lower-tier/lower-cost storage methods will grow in adoption. Although auto-tiering has been around for a while, until recently it was limited to a single system in a single site. Now liberated from those confines, auto-tiering can now send "colder" data offsite to services such as Amazon S3 and Glacier for ease of use, simplicity and significant cost savings.

4.       Datastores will increase in size, partially due to the increasing use of AI/ML models with large pools of unstructured data, and partially due to the rapidly declining cost for storage. Managed storage offerings (storage-as-a-service) both in the public cloud and on-premises (private clouds) make it feasible and affordable to implement extremely large datastores (from hundreds of petabytes to exabytes) and extract value, insights and monetary value from the larger data sets. 

5.       Data centers/colos will accelerate due to the combined desire to divest expensive/inflexible real estate and maintain the control and compliance of on-premises IT. The public cloud is not the only game in town, and even the hyperscale providers are expanding to on-premises solutions, with AWS Outpost and Azure Stack as prime examples. The big winners for the on-premises business will be the data centers which provide enterprises the control and physical security and separation of private data centers, without the costs and headaches of ownership of data center real estate.


About the Author

Jeff Francis 

Jeff Francis, Sr. Enterprise Solutions Architect at Zadara, has a unique background combining IT leadership, entrepreneurship, executive experience, and a Master Black Belt Lean Six Sigma certification (a detailed and demanding program for successfully defining and managing large and complex undertakings). Jeff grew up in Silicon Valley and has been a computer hobbyist / techie since the 8th grade. In high school he published software, including a BBS system - and successfully sold three software titles via Radio Shack. Most recently, Jeff spent 12 years at Verizon, including 8 years in Solution Architecture. He's also held IT executive positions at 3 startups.

Published Tuesday, January 21, 2020 7:15 AM by David Marshall
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